Shamantastic: Patch 4.0 and Shaman Talk

*rumble*

"Uh, Jinra, is that you shaking up the place?" "Nope." "Shit."

Finally, I have a little time to play WoW, which means, wabam, I have time to attempt to entertain you all with information you’ve heard a thousand times! I bet you haven’t gotten a sub-max level opinion on the changes though, so I’ll put some of that in this post too. As a short side story, I was in-game earlier and the world shook. My friend genuinely thought that I was using earthquake and he had just gotten back into WoW so he wasn’t aware of the world effects. The caption of the picture says the rest, heh heh. Anyway, aside from daft guild members and loads of ridiculous homework (can you believe I’m on academic alert for failing a midterm because they wouldn’t reschedule the study session to avoid my three hours of meetings and classes? :() let’s get to some meaty, shamany content.

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Where’d my new spells go?

One of the hardest things for me while leveling a character is keeping track of the new spells that I get. In Cataclysm, every time you level up, you’ll be shown which spells you’ve received. For the time being, my mind is stuck splintering into two focuses (note that this is different from multi-tasking, which I can do), one aimed at trying to be the most efficient leveler I can be so that my $15 a month is not wasted, and the other half wondering and trying to figure out which new spells I got and where they are in my spellbook. Honestly, up until the announcement that the level up UI would be different Blizzard has been depriving us of an easy way to organize those new spells.

The mind splitting is difficult for a mind like mine which likes to focus on one thing and only send one stream of data from one source at one time. I’m sure there are addons that keep track of this and also there is wowwiki and wowhead, but that’s just opening a third mental track, which fragments my ability to think through my focus much more. What we really need is better organization in the spellbook, something which I feel is important enough to release with the remarkable changes to the level up UI. If we could only show the most recent spells, in some order, on each page, then we’d be doing much better. Instead of seeing each spell rank 1-9 or however far some may get up, we’d only see the most recent rank. The lower level spells would be minimized and come up with the player wants to see the full list. Even a simple change such at that can improve the efficiency of the spellbook.

Not only that, but instead of flashing until clicked on each spec tab, it’d be great to autoflag the new skills and abilities as you get them so that when you look for them in the spellbook, they aren’t hard to find. This would increase efficiency a lot, and remove headaches for people who are bothered by this sort of thing.

Of course all this musing is pretty much obsolete since we know Cata will redefine the level up system and auto-reward you for it (last I heard).

Strap up that shield and grab your hammer, tanks

 

Image courtesy of a really old wow.com post (2007)

Leveling alts used to be a lot of fun for me at low levels. The first instance that I got into was always an experience, an adventure. Sometimes there would be completely new players, and sometimes old players running alts, just like me. I don’t know what caused the change – maybe it was the LFD tool, but recently, I’ve been getting shit tanks and healers. Why? Well… who wants to wait 40 minutes in a queue to get into an instance at that level? I wish I didn’t have to, but leveling my hunter leaves me no choice. We always get healers and tanks who are DPS who just want a quick way into an instance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty myself with one of my druids who is tanking as balance, and to this effect, I don’t mind people that can gear themselves correctly despite spec. I’ve always been a firm believer that the line between dps and healing as well as dps and tanking are very hazy, and all roles can be played by all classes without much difficulty. It only starts to matter a lot when you get into the higher levels. With that said, those who jump into an instance as a tank and are using a two-hander (note that this is a level 15 instance, not 55, so two-hand tanking is a no no) and as healers who are also using two-hand weapons (paladins), are despicable and should put in the small amount of effort it requires to get the right gear for tanking. Below are some suggestions for each tanking class at low levels.

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Where’s the Humor Gone: Voices Edition

Who doesn’t need a little laughter in their lives? This new column strives to put a smile on the face of each and every reader. If I don’t succeed, please email me and tell me! Well you don’t have to, but it sure would be fun to try the challenging cases where people don’t even grin a little when someone smiles at them. To start off this inaugural post, I present to you, courtesy of Jesse Cox of Ten Ton Hammer, the Day Deathwing Came!

And a different take on Maltek’s portion of the story:

And a little fun from Katie Tiedrich over at www.awkwardzombie.com:

http://www.awkwardzombie.com/comic1-072610.php

I’ll update with more as I find it for this week! Undecided on my Friday post, but there will be something good I’m sure!

Healing through the Lag

Lag is always really, really annoying. There have been countless times that my university failed in some respect when dealing with our internet connection, and so at different times throughout my WoW career I’ve been plagued by such monstrosities as internet outages when the rain and thunder start (actually just the rain), and connection throttling/blocking recently. Since I’m in the midwest right now, rain and thunder are common, and that used to mess with my connection a lot. We were on solid ice for a long time, but sadly they installed some new software to block torrents and it’s had bad side effects in WoW. So mixed with my feelings of anger at not being able to perform my role effectively, I thought it would be good to share some ideas on how best TO perform your role when you’re in this situation, all the way from first joining to the party to gracefully leaving mid-instance, or sticking it out staying. Take the jump with me and we’ll discuss how to heal through the lag!

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Efficient Farming

Farming. Lot’s of people hate it, many people do it, and few actually like it. And yet it has been the center of debate in WoW since the vanilla release date. There has always been a stigma placed on it, or at least a wary eye, with the concern that the farmer, or bot controlling the character, may be breaking the terms of service rules and in general being a nuisance to the WoW community. Soon after release comes the economic scene – pioneering adventurers that want to find the way to become most efficient at gathering and retaining gold. These pioneers have established the foundation on which we as a gold-making community function on. Back in their day, the tools they had for farming were their mouse, their keyboard and music or movies as a distraction. There were no flying mounts, and only a few zones in which they could get the high demand materials that defined the market in their day. Competing against other entrepeneurs, the going was tough. Today, we have it easy. We have countless addons that aid in making node spotting much easier, and even some addons that allow you to track both minerals and herbs, a breakthrough in leveling farming technology that allows the low-level player to cash out while leveling.

Sometimes, we get so bogged down with all the options that farming becomes just as difficult as it was in vanilla. So what are the best practices when it comes to supplying? Take the jump to find the answers!

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